Samsung FlipShot Review

Introduction and Design

The Samsung FlipShot U900, which replaces the A990, is a modern flip phone with rotating display that is targeted to the consumer who is looking for an easy to carry device with an integrated 3MP autofocus camera. It is available in two color choices: matte black with silver trim, or in a stylish red with silver trim. Both options are up to personal tastes, but it lacks the “shine” of the Gleam we recently reviewed. The biggest competition to the FlipShot is the LG Voyager, Motorola V9m and Maxx Ve, since all three have good quality 2MP cameras.

The Retail Package includes the Samsung FlipShot U900 phone, 880mAh battery, wall charger, hand strap, and user manual. It should also be noted that even though the FlipShot is capable of the TV-Out feature (just like the A990), the cable is no longer included and has to be purchased separately.

You can compare the Samsung FlipShot with many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool.

Current users of the A990 will welcome the modest improvements in the FlipShot, yet it does retain similar styling. The device is constructed with plastic throughout, but overall feels durable and should hold up to everyday use. The only problem regarding construction that we noticed was with the battery cover. Once it was removed, the plastic was flimsy and could easily be bent in any direction. We also didn’t care for the way the cover “snaps” back onto the phone at 6 different points.

Little has changed regarding the flip; it is very easy to open and close, and can be rotated 180-degrees to activate the camera. Located on the front is the external display and touch-sensitive music control buttons. On the left side in the 2.5mm headset jack, charger/data port, and left stereo speaker, with the volume rocker, right stereo speaker, and camera shutter button on the right side. The 3MP camera and flash are located on the back.

The external display has been slightly improved since the A990 and is now 1.25” diagonal, with a resolution of 128x96 pixels and 65K colors. Unfortunately, it is still small compared to the larger ones on the V9m and Voyager. Viewing wallpapers on it was rather dark, just like on the A990. There is a new Contrast adjustment in the menu, which helps some, but it is still a darker than it should be. Because of the small size and the dark screen, you can only really use it for checking the date & time, message alerts, signal strength and battery level. When flipping the phone open, there is a world of difference using the internal display, which is 2.20” diagonal with 240x320 pixel resolution and 262K colors. Images here are shown with good color detail and saturation. Just like with the Gleam, there are six levels of brightness settings, but even at the highest setting it does not hold up to use while in direct sunlight, which is the case with most TFT displays.

Located on the bottom flip is the white backlit keypad, which has been significantly improved since the A990. The D-pad is now larger and easier to navigate using your thumb with less mistakes being made. The same is also true for the rest of the navigation keys. The numeric keypad is also larger and is made out of a one-piece membrane, instead of individual buttons like on the A990. All the keys are separated with a raised plastic edge, which makes them easy to dial-by-touch and for text messaging. We are glad that Samsung has improved the keypad in this manner.

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